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Old 12-04-2021, 01:29 PM   #1
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Towing - Blue Ox

I have a Blue Ox Avanti II tow bar that has developed a problem.

I use it to tow a 3300 lb car that tracks perfectly straight when both arms are latched.

But lately, when both arms are extended ready to tow, one of them doesn't seem to want to 'Latch' in place. So what I have to do is put a wedge under the latch handle to hold it up so it stays latched.

For those who don't know, if an arm isn't latched, the car will tend to wiggle. Not good.

It's strange because you'd think that the clanking I've done occasionally when backing the car up to extend the arms would make it easier to latch, not harder, as it wore the mechanism's stops down.

There doesn't seem to be an adjustment under that cover.

Anyway, anyone familiar with this sort of problem? What is the cure? Thanks.
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Old 12-04-2021, 01:41 PM   #2
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Have the tow bar inspected and serviced. Blue Ox recommends doing so every 2 years or 10,000 miles.
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Old 12-04-2021, 01:46 PM   #3
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Blue Ox has a repair kit to rebuild the arms so that all the parts that make them latch get renewed. That will resolve your issue. That said, I don't know what if any special skills or tools are required to do the renewal.

Also if there is some maximum age that Blue Ox will support repairs / rebuilds , I think it's ten years old. So if older than that , you may be SOL and have to replace.
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Old 12-04-2021, 01:47 PM   #4
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Blue Ox has a service team at Quartzsite every year ; I'd suspect they would be able to help . It's a carry in service , basic service $50 , HD service was $125 last time I was at the tent .

Most common failure is " chipping " of the latch plate , or the extension shaft.
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Old 12-04-2021, 02:46 PM   #5
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Blue Ox has been dropping their maximum age of tow bar that they will support / rebuild, I know it was down to 8 years a couple of years ago, and have read online that it may be now down to just 5 years before they say it is end of life.
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Old 12-04-2021, 03:44 PM   #6
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Thanks all, I think I'll try to get that repair kit. This tow bar is a '02 so doubt they'd recommend or provide a rebuild from what I've read about them lately.
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Old 12-06-2021, 02:50 PM   #7
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I've refurbished two of the Blue OX tow bars. Most likely it is the spring inside the box than needs replacing. The spring causes the locking arm to spring up after the end of the inside shaft has been pulled past the locking arm.
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Old 12-07-2021, 12:06 AM   #8
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Hey Jim,
Blue Ox, like any extendable towbar, is a simple mechanism. I've had at least two different Blue Ox's apart and they're just not hard at all, to break down and analyze issues. Backing your car up to "latch" the tow bars is done by a zillion RV'ers across the nation, daily. Now, you don't have to do it at full throttle, just ease it back 'till you see and hear the "click" of the locks and, you see the levers lock into position.

If I recall, (it's been a few years) there's no special tools for yanking any model of a Blue Ox apart. Some basic tools are needed. You may have some spring pins that need to be punched out with the use of a small diameter drift punch.

But, taking them apart, putting in new washers/spacers/ etc. is pretty easy. You've been around this stuff for a while and done lots of your own work. This is no different. With your capability, you don't need to run to Blue Ox for this little job. Below are a few pics of the last one I had apart, the 10,000 lb. model. When I had this one apart, I ran the pieces over to a local powder coater and had them re done.
Scott
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Old 12-07-2021, 08:47 AM   #9
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Thanks, Fireup! Those pics are very helpful. Mine is also a 10,000 lb model.

I'm settled now for a month or two and I'll get the repair kit ordered very soon.
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Old 12-11-2021, 07:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
I have a Blue Ox Avanti II tow bar that has developed a problem.

I use it to tow a 3300 lb car that tracks perfectly straight when both arms are latched.

But lately, when both arms are extended ready to tow, one of them doesn't seem to want to 'Latch' in place. So what I have to do is put a wedge under the latch handle to hold it up so it stays latched.

For those who don't know, if an arm isn't latched, the car will tend to wiggle. Not good.

It's strange because you'd think that the clanking I've done occasionally when backing the car up to extend the arms would make it easier to latch, not harder, as it wore the mechanism's stops down.

There doesn't seem to be an adjustment under that cover.

Anyway, anyone familiar with this sort of problem? What is the cure? Thanks.
I had one latch that the spring had broken and would not stay latched. I used a bungee cord to keep it up until I finished the trip. I called blue Ox and they recommend sending units in about every 2 years to be inspected
It only cost about $150 and is worth it. They fixed the latch and inspected/replaced anything needed.
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Old 12-14-2021, 10:59 PM   #11
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I had what you refer to as wiggle and it took time to figure out that it was unlatching. To send it back would take too long for me so I lubed everything. Popped off the end caps and the rubber boots and lubed as well as exercised everything. We've put almost 8,000 miles on it since then problem seems to have gone away. Though I make it a habit to do this everytime I'm back home. Mine is 4 plus years old.
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